Interesting PhoneGap/Android crash

I’ve been hanging out in the jQuery Mobile IRC chat room lately and a user came in with a rather odd issue. He had a jQuery Mobile based page run via the PhoneGap wrapper that would crash (a bad SIGSEGV) when users entered a 7 in a form field. Yes, a 7.

I had absolutely no idea what this could be, but I ran the user through the normal tests I do when something bat-crap crazy happens. I had him remove parts of the form, remove jQuery Mobile, heck, remove PhoneGap, just basically start ripping things out until the app doesn’t crash anymore. I wasn’t able to reproduce this at all on my device.

So - he continued down this path until he came across an incredible discovery. When he removed his CSS file, things worked.

Yeah… CSS. So I had him share his CSS with me and Eclipse, right away, pointed out a few things as invalid. However, my Eclipse IDE is still stuck in HTML2 land so I didn’t necessarily trust it. I cleared the errors, built out, and still couldn’t reproduce the error myself. But he kept plugging away, until he found it:

.ui-page { -webkit-backface-visibility: hidden; }

In case you're curious, this was added due to a recommendation here. Anyway, as soon as he removed the CSS, the application worked perfectly.

Credit for this goes to the user, Jim Nelson of Broadtime.

Raise your hand if you honestly would have thought that CSS could crash an application.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate for Extend by Auth0. He focuses on serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support.

Lafayette, LA